Merkel Reassures UK of EU’s ‘Wide Open Door’ despite Brexit
The German leader reiterated the position of European Council head Tusk of granting a “short” Brexit extension if the British Parliament finally approves the UK – EU Brexit deal.
The European Union will keep its door “wide open” to closer cooperation with the UK in spite of Brexit, German leader Angela Merkel stated ahead of an EU leaders’ summit in Brussels that is to discuss the requested extension on the British departure from the Union.
The Chancellor address the German Parliament on Thursday morning, declaring that she was open to a “short extension” of Brexit but only the British Parliament approved the amended Brexit deal it already shot down last week.
Merkel thus in essence reiterated the EU position voice on Wednesday by European Council President Donald Tusk, after he received a formal letter request from British Prime Minister Theresa May that the EU agree to put off Brexit until June 30, 2019.
May asked the Union for a Brexit extension after last week the British MPs rejected her withdrawal deal for the second time, and then House of Commons Speaker John Bercow unexpectedly intervened to prevent a third vote on “substantially the same” motion.
In a late night speech on Wednesday, the British leader accused the Parliament in London of failing to make decisive votes a mere 9 days before the originally scheduled Brexit date of March 29, 2019.
Speaking on Thursday morning, the German Chancellor said the Brexit deal amendments hammered out in Strasbourg last week, including modifications to the Northern Ireland backstop, should be “sufficient” to allow British Prime Minister Theresa May to move forward in the Brexit process.
In her words, the lack of a “positive” vote in the UK Parliament would likely necessitate an emergency EU summit next week.
“I continue to be convinced that we need an orderly exit,” Merkel said, having already pledged to fight “to the last hour” to prevent a no-deal Brexit.
“[The UK will] always be included in our thinking [whether inside or outside the EU]… The door to closer cooperation is wide open,” the Chancellor said, as cited by DW.
“We are seeing multilateralism being put under increasing pressure. Our work will continue to be founded on multilateralism,” she told the Bundestag, reiterating her belief in the power of compromise in the EU.
(Banner image: EPP on Twitter)